FFA CEO David Gallop says Tim Cahill’s signing to the Hyundai A-League is a red-letter day for football, and he hinted there could be other big names on their way to the league.
Cahill ended speculation over his future on Thursday with Melbourne City announcing he'd signed a two-year deal to play in the Hyundai A-League.
“It's the biggest player signing in the league’s history,” a delighted Gallop told reporters on Thursday.
“It’s a red-letter day for the code. For many Australians, when you think of Australian football, you think of Tim Cahill
“Scoring goals, celebrating by punching the corner flag, hopefully we’re going to see plenty of that over the next couple of seasons.
“We said we wanted marquee players to come into the league and he [Cahill] was definitely top of that wish-list,” Gallop added.
“He’s a Socceroo, he’s the leading [Australian] goal-scorer, he runs onto the field and his teammates lift.
"You feel a buzz when Tim Cahill runs onto the field and we recognise he’ll bring something special to the A-League.”
Gallop has no doubt Cahill’s signature will bring an added X-factor to the A-League, while admitting it’s sure to have a significant impact on the FFA’s next broadcast deal.
“No matter what sport you’re looking at, when you’re talking to broadcasters they want to see stars,” Gallop said.
“Stars are what bring people through the gate and turning on their various broadcast platforms.
"We’ll put that at the forefront of our negotiations.
“But all the networks recognise the name Tim Cahill and what he can bring to the league.”
Gallop hinted Cahill’s signing may not be the last of the marquee additions to the A-League for the upcoming season.
“It’s possible. We know that there are talks going on with a number of interested parties,” he said.
“It’s early days but there’s still an allocation available from our funds and this [marquee guest] rule gives greater flexibility around that.”